A man sits alone on a bed of blankets. He’s quiet and still but as I approach his eyes reveal a deep suffering.
“I’m waiting for my son, he’s in intensive care” he says. He continues to tell me that he’s been waiting since Saturday night when he first heard the news. His son, a 22-year-old university student was caught in the bomb blast after travelling to Ankara for the peace rally with a group of other students.
Other people I’ve spoken to these last few days have been over come with emotion, tears and tremors accompany their words, and it was no different for the mother of 25 year old Gunay Karakus. She told me Gunay, just like everyone else who attended, came to the rally for peace.
Almost one hundred lives were lost in Saturdays attack. While all ages were caught in the blast, what struck me today was how many young activists lost their lives to a cause they so fervidly believed in.
60 people still remained in intensive care on Monday. Given the instability of their condition, there’s every possibility that the death toll will surpass 100.
The director of the hospital, Nurettin Zengin, said the hospital had never dealt with such a tragic event and they didn’t realise the enormity of the attack until hundreds landed on the emergency ward in a matter of minutes.
“We didn’t need to call for extra staff, they just turned up” said one medical worker.
Two days on from the blasts, hospital staff gathered for a moment of silence for the victims they couldn’t save. Then followed a procession back to the site of the tragedy for another memorial service.
The grief of such a sickening attack painted across their faces. Raw pain showed cracks of anger. Then, as if to somehow offload, mourners once again threw red carnations to symbolizes their loss.
And as day two of mourning turns into three, the people of Turkey are left without answers. Yet, with elections less than three weeks away, fear of yet another attack does little to weaken their defiance to stand side by side for peace.
Author: Sally Ayhan